Listen, I get it. Not forgetting sounds good in theory. It’s a pervasive idea and many people believe it is a standard component of surviving human existence. But all you are doing when you refuse to forgive is preventing yourself from moving past all the hurt and pain that comes with a traumatic, unhappy time in your life.
Sure you can forgive and not have any ill wishes toward the people you feel have done you wrong. But every time you remind yourself of what happened, you are also reliving how the situation made you feel. You may not break down crying or become enraged every time you think of it, but those flames of bitterness, resentment and helplessness are reignited every time you re-enter that space mentally.
You may feel as though you have been making it just fine choosing to forgive without forgetting. But what you must realize is that you are *ALWAYS* creating your life. By continuously telling yourself a story of pain, struggle and unhappiness; that is the story that you will constantly manifest. When you make a habit of frequently recalling your pain you begin identifying with it to the point that you do not know how to exist without it. And this is the true reason why your ego will not allow you to forgive, forget, and release your pain. Not because it is a healthy way to protect yourself, but because even in misery, it is comfortable and familiar.
Trust that you will only be able to create a new life for yourself when you completely let go of the old one.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. How can you protect yourself in the future if you forget negative things that have happened in the past?
Instead of carrying books of old pain and comparing them to every new situation, trying to find and in some case forcing a match to be so; utilize discernment.
Figure out the lesson you learned from the painful situation and let all the other details ago. Who did what when and how is truly irrelevant to your growth. The lesson should make you feel empowered without being a delusion to make you feel better. If the “lesson” you tell yourself re-enforces victimhood, then it is not the right one. Once you are able to find an honest lesson that does not disparage you or place blame and responsibility on anyone outside of yourself, that is the only information you need to carry with you to ensure that you don’t find yourself in the same position. You can look at each new situation for what it is in the moment and discern whether or not any lesson you are carrying with you applies instead of reliving what has hurt you and keeping yourself stuck in the cycle of those feelings and experiences.
Your life lessons will form the blueprint to living a full life that serves you. And the only way for you to authentically experience the new narrative is to forget the old one and embrace the process of creating a new, pain free story.